Buses keep Moving Even With Electricity

Carbon emitting vehicles have played a major part in the reason why our air is so polluted. Forms of public transportation, like buses and subway trains, have helped with the reduction of air pollution. With public transportation, air pollution is reduced because those people aren’t driving their own vehicles, rather they are riding together on one large vehicle.

Public transportation methods are great, but modes of transportation like large buses are still big emitters of carbon dioxide. Recently, some states have set out to fix the problem by turning to electric school buses. In White Plains, NY, school districts have started to use electric school buses to reduce the amount of toxic fumes being emitted into the air. Other states have also started to follow the same trend of going towards eclectic public transportation, like California and Massachusetts.

These buses are environmentally very suitable for our planet, but economically they cost a lot of money. Each bus costs around 365,000 dollars which is triple the amount of a standard school bus. This trend has also started off relatively slow, as only a few hundred buses out of 480,000 in the country have gone towards electric. However, states are beginning to gain more funding for environmental projects like this one.

After getting caught cheating on emissions tests in 2016, Volkswagen decided to pay 2.9 billion dollars to state funds in order to promote cleaning of the nitrogen oxide that the company’s cars had emitted into our atmosphere. With this new found money source, states are beginning to invest more money into electric school buses.  For example,Illinois put in 10.8 million dollars into these buses, and Indiana has put in 2.9 million dollars.

There has been a large amount of criticism surrounding the development of these types of buses. People argue that putting in large amounts of money for a small number of these buses is wasteful. They’d rather see states put the money into cleaner technology for diesel vehicles. But supporters of these buses believe that with a higher demand of these buses, the price to make them will begin to fall. This will in part reduce the cost of these buses and make them more prominent in school districts around our country.

Lion Electric is a Canadian company based in Quebec that has been manufacturing these buses. In White Plains, the buses passed dependability tests with flying colors, a large improvement from a few years ago when the companies products were often malfunctioning. With these improvements and state of New York’s support, Lion Electric has started to train mechanics in White Plains to better the quality of the buses.

With the continued trend of electric vehicles gaining more and more popularity, electric school buses will become more prominent. Although these buses are starting out very expensive, they will begin to become cheaper as companies begin to manufacture more of them. This new development is very important, as these buses could be the start of us bettering our air we breathe and our overall environment.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Tabitha Weaver says:

    I see that you mentioned both buses and metros in the article, is one better for the environment than the other?

  2. callie.oliver says:

    Have you looked into information about what Pittsburgh public transit does to reduce emissions? I think in Pittsburgh it will be increasingly more important for people to use public transit – not only because of emissions, but because of the wear-and-tear on infrastructure from too many cars on narrow streets! But also, multi-modal transportation can be a big benefit for cities like Pittsburgh.

  3. roman.black says:

    I guess I hadn’t thought about electric buses. Electric cars are the future and it will be interesting to see more buses incorporated.

    1. callie.oliver says:

      San Francisco is well-known for having trolley buses that run on electricity. Public transit systems have to do a cost-benefit analysis to determine if they have high enough traffic to balance out the cost. I think this would be amazing infrastructure for PGH, but it isn’t feasible right now.

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